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Thread: Marine Chart Help

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    Default Marine Chart Help

    Question for all you explorers out there. What do you look for on a marine chart when you are targeting Halibut? I have picked out what I thought was good areas an the charts for halibut and end up empty handed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stormanman8 View Post
    Question for all you explorers out there. What do you look for on a marine chart when you are targeting Halibut? I have picked out what I thought was good areas an the charts for halibut and end up empty handed.
    Structrure, structure, structure. I look for places where bait can flow. For instance a nice hump between two islands or sea mounts.
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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    little holes that the current could wash stuff into has worked for me as well.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Is there preferred depths you look for? I suppose it matters where you are fishing, Homer, Seward, etc?

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    Something worth clarifying-

    Depths and locations vary greatly over the course of a season, and even from tide to tide as bait moves around. I don't know of a single rule of thumb that applies all the time for all locations. I've never found a rule or a location that's 100% reliable.

    What I have found is that a "trap line" of locations is invaluable, and that the trap line changes all the time. I have a bunch of spots to hit, picked each day based on tides, month, and what happened the day before. My trapline and schedule has built up over the years, but even that's not religious. I'm always trying new spots as I find them.

    The big message is not to waste your time on a spot just because it worked yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Give it a try, but be ready to move on to the next spot if it fails to produce. Next to last time I was out for halibut I drew blanks in 6 spots, and the day was getting long in the tooth before I stopped at the seventh. We smoked them there. The very next day we went back out and started at the hot spot. Didn't touch a fish, so we moved on. Checked back later in the day on the same tide as before, and only got one fish. But moved about 100 yards to another opening in the reef and smoked them again.

    Halibut move. Water temperatures and tides change. Bait comes and goes too. Kinda have to mix it all in a blender and make your best guess every time you set out.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    I don't have a magic depth. Im certainly no expert. I've caught a halibut in as little as 6 ft of water fishing kelp and as deep as 350. Like Brownbear said what works one day may not produce squat the next. I've produced a lot of squat. I'll typically wait about 1 to 2 hrs to produce a bite. If nothing then I pull the anchor and roll. I've caught a lot of bottom but I've also managed a few pretty good fish from a boat that most look at me like a lunatic for fishing out of. If I can manage it Im sure almost anyone can.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    Like Brownbear said what works one day may not produce squat the next. I've produced a lot of squat.
    Today was a case in point. We were thoroughly squatted on. Mooched for silvers in several spots and at the last we caught and released a couple of smallish (8-10#) halibut 35' off bottom in 110' of water. Go figger! Decided to go ahead and anchor and work the bottom for a while. Two hours later it was time to go home and we hadn't had a bump. Fresh silver was a fine dinner, but I was thinking we shoulda kept one of those halibut.... Makes me wonder if we'd have picked up more halibut way up off bottom if we'd kept mooching. The dominant bait layer was up there, and clearly at least the ones we caught figured it was just fine to leave the bottom behind.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    What kind of boat, c6?

    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    I don't have a magic depth. Im certainly no expert. I've caught a halibut in as little as 6 ft of water fishing kelp and as deep as 350. Like Brownbear said what works one day may not produce squat the next. I've produced a lot of squat. I'll typically wait about 1 to 2 hrs to produce a bite. If nothing then I pull the anchor and roll. I've caught a lot of bottom but I've also managed a few pretty good fish from a boat that most look at me like a lunatic for fishing out of. If I can manage it Im sure almost anyone can.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormanman8 View Post
    Is there preferred depths you look for? I suppose it matters where you are fishing, Homer, Seward, etc?
    As others say no real magical depth. My rule of thumb has always been to shallow up as the summer progresses. Start at 300 feet in May, end fishing August 100 feet.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
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    I can't find butt out of Seward, close in or out aways. I've caught them from SE to PWS to Cook Inlet to Kodiak to the Aleutians, but I cannot find them out of Seward...anywhere. I can find black rockfish everywhere, greenling, yelloweye, lingcod, tons of quillback, but no halibut. Everywhere I think they should be the aren't, structure or no structure, deep or shallow. I do know a couple places to go to get a yelloweye within a minute on the first drop and the same for quillback, but I can't find a butt within 50 miles of Seward. So I will keep looking and trying the spots that should have them until I do, obviously I haven't looked in the right spot at the right time yet. I still have a few more places in mind, I just need the weather and my stubborn brain to allow them to happen.

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    Wow, I guess there is a lot of water out there to cover so a lot of places yet to try. Thanks for all the feed back, sounds like more time is needed exploring now that I have some Ideas. I seem to have luck in Homer for halibut, Seward for Silvers, rock fish, etc, and Whittier for shrimping. I guess if it works stay with it. Every year the halibut get smaller and smaller though? I'm starting to think WINTER KINGS!!!

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